Methamphetamine (MAP), the most frequently abused substance in Japan, causes severe drug dependence and psychosis, similar to schizophrenia. It is suggested that long-term alterations in gene expression is related to MAP-induced brain dysfunction, including dependence and psychosis. DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferase (Dnmt), a methylating enzyme of cytosine residues on CpG-dinucleotides, plays an important role in X chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting, and gene expression. Reelin is an extracellular matrix protein secreted by GABAergic interneurons. Heterozygous reeler mice that exhibit a 50% downregulation of reelin expression replicate the dendritic spine and GABAergic defects described in schizophrenia. DNA methylation plays an important role in the epigenetic modification of reelin expression. We previously found that MAP could alter expression of Dnmt1 mRNA in the rat brain. In this study, we examined the brain mRNA for Dnmt2 and reelin in MAP-treated Wistar rats. Acute MAP (4 mg/kg) treatment significantly decreased Dnmt2 mRNA by 27% to 39% in hippocampus dentate gyrus, CA1, and CA3 24 h after treatment, and significantly decreased reelin mRNA by 28% in frontal cortex 3 h after treatment. These results suggest that (1) MAP can alter DNA methylation as well as expression of genes in these brain regions, and (2) decrease in reelin mRNA in the frontal cortex is similar to heterozygous reeler mice, which might be related to schizophrenia-like psychotic symptoms of MAP psychosis.
- DNA methyltransferase
- Gene expression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- History and Philosophy of Science